PHILADELPHIA - It didn't take long for the Penn volleyball team to find out their destination and opponent for this year's NCAA Championship. The Quakers held faint hopes of hosting a regional at The Palestra, but instead they will hit the road for the campus of Duke University in Durham, N.C. Penn's first-round opponent? Ohio University, out of the Mid-American Conference.
Penn and Ohio will play each other Friday evening at 5 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The other match at that site will feature host and tournament No. 12 seed Duke (24-6) against High Point University (22-12) at 7 p.m. Friday's first-round winners will face off Saturday in the second round, with the winner moving on to the regional semifinals the next weekend in State College, Pa.
Penn (17-10) advanced to this year's NCAA Championship -- its second appearance in a row -- after tying Yale for the Ivy League title and defeating the Bulldogs in a one-match playoff to determine the Ivy's automatic qualifier. Last year, of course, Penn defeated Army in the NCAA first round before falling to eventual national champion Penn State in the second round.
Ohio University (21-12) is making its eighth straight NCAA appearance, and recently the Bobcats won the MAC Tournament title for the third straight season and the seventh time in eight years. This past weekend, Ohio faced No. 12 Dayton and fell to the Flyers, 3-0.
Florida is the No. 1 seed in this year's tournament; the Gators are followed in the seedings by Nebraska, Stanford and Penn State. This year's championship semifinals and final will be played December 16 and 18 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.